You hold your digital life in the palm of your hand. Guard it well
Caveat Viator – Travelers hold their digital lives in their hands
The mobile devices travelers carry aren’t just expensive little conveniences anymore. Depending on the employee’s degree of access, they can be the keys to the kingdom, opening up your company’s data, applications, content and more. The value of mobile devices has risen, as has their role as access points to one’s personal and company data, which is more and more being housed on mobile clouds. This change in kind also impacts other factors surrounding “mobile first” management thinking. For example, mobile security has never been about securing the device, but about securing the data it can access. Thus more and more companies are moving beyond device management to securing all corporate assets. These are the conclusions of Digital Management Inc. (DMI), a provider of end-to-end mobile enterprise solutions.
With the proliferation of connected devices, mobile and otherwise, security specialists have noted that the probability of cyberattacks is increasing across all business sectors. As a result organizations are adopting cybersecurity countermeasures to protect the entire ecosystem of computing resources, information, networks and applications. Numerous “attack surfaces”– points of vulnerability – have opened up in resources connected to cloud computing, big data, wireless communication and the Internet of Things.
More Access Points than Ever
Mobility is no longer merely a trend; it is today’s pervasive technology influencing both personal and business life. The corner was turned last year, when 1.2 billion smartphones were sold, an increase of 23 percent over 2013. In this environment, DMI advises the time has come for enterprises to rethink existing business models by capitalizing on a“mobile first”backbone to change the way they do business.
The travel industry is one sector where the need for prudence is most evident. Travel providers, booking and payment services, mobile networks and technology giants are all converging into the traveler’s palm. As more mobile devices become access points to transactional information and personal data, the need to maintain the security around these devices becomes critical.
For example, Marriott International has announced that it will become the first global hospitality company to offer Apple Pay. Guests will be able to use their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or soon, their Apple Watch, at check-in to capture the payment information. There will be no need to provide a credit card. The service will be phased in this summer in the US.
In another development, TravelClick and Google have entered into an expanded partnership to enable“one-click”mobile web bookings using Google Wallet. And research in Singapore reveals that mobile is emerging as the next channel of preference for both customer priority and frequency of interaction with their banks.
According to Nitin Bhat, partner at Frost & Sullivan, Singaporeans rely on many sources to find information about new financial products or services but only use a small number of channels for actual purchases: branch, website and contact center – but mobile banking is emerging as one of the top purchasing channels for Singapore customers.
However financial information and corporate data are not the only points of vulnerabilities for travelers. Personal information is also being aggregated to help travel providers engage their customers with highly tailored, precisely targeted services. One such aggregator is Revinate, a San Francisco-based technology company which compiles rich social guest profiles through its inGuest platform.
Revinate claims that“inGuest enables hoteliers to truly understand their guests, anticipate their needs and execute precisely targeted marketing campaigns by connecting reservation, social media and guest feedback data.”inGuest compiles reservation (PMS) data and stay histories, guest preferences, social media activity and guest feedback to“engage with them more effectively before, during and after their stays.”
Access to personal information, bank accounts, company secrets, and eventually even our houses and our cars – with so many“attack surfaces”out there, cyberthugs have more reasons than ever to assault the unwary mobile user. Every digital employee needs to understand the power they hold in their hand, and the steps they can take to protect it. BT